Parish History

Parish History

The coastal parish of Chivelstone, which is the most southerly tip of Devon, in the South Hams, covers 10 square kilometres. The area has many special designations, including: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Coastal Preservation Area, Heritage Coast, Site of Special Scientific Interest and Conservation Areas.

The parish has 220 households (104 being second or holiday homes) the majority being in the hamlet of East Prawle. Here there are two Public Houses, a Shop with a café and the Parish Community Hall. (Correct September 2005)

The Church of England Parish Church, St. Sylvester’s is situated in the small hamlet of Chivelstone. Many of the settlements are mentioned in the Doomsday Book.

The parish of Chivelstone has 220 households (104 being second or holiday homes), with only 224 registered voters. (Correct September 2005)


(Forde) a hamlet of a dozen or so houses has the ruins of a Presbyterian chapel with a well kept graveyard, which is worth a visit.

In the small village of CHIVELSTONE (Chevelton) there are seven cottages, a farm [Chivelstone Barton] and the parish Church dedicated to St Sylvester who became Pope in A.D. 314. Records date from 1292, when the church was a chapelry attached to Stokenham. In St Sylvester’s graveyard are many graves of sailors whose ships were wrecked off Prawle Point and the surrounding coastline. The cottage next door, just up from the church, was once a public house known as ‘The Seven Stars Inn’.


(Alintone) is also mentioned in the Doomsday Book. It was probably the holding of the Ley tenant-in-Chief. The squire certainly lived at the ‘Manor’ house until the early 20th Century, the present house being Georgian in style. Here also are the remains of a tithe barn, which has been converted to dwellings. The one nearest the road has a ‘cross’ on the roof. Manor Farm is a grade II listed building.


(Prena) is the largest settlement in the parish. The old school was built in 1878 and was closed in 1967. During WW 1 and WW 2 the area was used by the RAF and the fields to the west of the school are known as the aerodrome. There are a number of thatched cottages in the village.


is a small hamlet in the south east of the parish.

The Chivelstone Community Parish Hall was opened in East Prawle in August 2000. It was converted from the Methodist Chapel, which in turn had been the Bible Christian’s Meeting House and was taken over in the 1840’s.

The old coastguard cottages were built to the seaward side of East Prawle at ‘New Houses’, these were used as private houses after a row of 10 houses were built at Prawle Point for the Coastguard in the 1900’s. These houses are now mainly holiday homes. The Coastguard are presently situated on Town Road above and behind Higher Park, with the adjacent two coastguard cottages turned into private houses.


is the most southerly point in England, bar the Lizard. It is topped by a ‘lookout’ station run by the N.C.I. (National Coastwatch Institution). The name Prawle derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘Prawhyll’ meaning lookout hill, apt as the Point has been used as a lookout for over a thousand years.